"Blink" Documentary to Screen at World's Largest International LGBT Film Festival
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by Jim Norrena
Directed and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography) and Alka Joshi (MFA Writing 2011)
Blink, a short documentary directed and edited by the talented interdisciplinary team of Photography undergraduate Yoni Klein and Alka Joshi, a soon-to-be MFA Program in Writing graduate, has been programmed into the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the longest-running, largest, and most widely recognized LGBT film exhibition event in the world.
Since 1977 Frameline serves as the nation's only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to the funding, exhibition, distribution, and promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender media arts. The festival is marketed as "frameline35," to mark its 35th anniversary, although the local nonprofit's official festival name is the "San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival."
As a community event with an annual attendance of 60,000, the festival is the most prominent and well-attended LGBT arts program in the Bay Area, which for any film of any length, is a spectacular accomplishment.
Film Program chair and two-time Academy Award–winning documentarian Rob Epstein shared his enthusiasm and support with the filmmakers: "I'm so pleased for you both . . . and for the film. . . . [Blink] is well deserved and a real success story for the [Film] program. . . . You've landed at the mothership of film festivals!" (The film may be only eight minutes long, but that kind of praise from a maverick filmmaker like Rob Epstein will last a lifetime! I guarantee it.)
Full program information will be available on the festival website as of Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m. As a short film, Blink will be programmed as part of a collection of shorter films that are united by a similar theme. (Rumor has it Blink will screen at the historic Castro Theatre, meaning the shorts collection in which it's featured is expected to be a huge attraction.)
Virtual Awards Are Just as "Reel"
The award-winning Blink, which garnered a news story earlier this month for having been issued an Award of Merit by The Indie (a virtual festival based in La Jolla, San Diego), emerged from CCA's Film Program's "Stranger Than Fiction" course, a hands-on intensive workshop that explores the history and evolution of this nonfiction art form through an exploration of the various documentary filmmaking methods, modes, and techniques.
According to The Indie website, “Indie awards go to those filmmakers who produce fresh, standout entertainment, animation and compelling documentaries. The Indie is a showcase for cinematic gems and unique voices.”
Blink also screened as one of 15 selected films at Rhode Island School of Design's (RISD) 2011 Light Film Festival in March.
It should be noted that although no physical film screenings take place, Indie winners are promoted via targeted press releases to media outlets and The Indie’s email database of more than 25,000 filmmakers and industry insiders. We hope through Klein's and Joshi's efforts others will recognize the truly unique interdisciplinary opportunity for which the college is known—one that encourages collaboration among the various undergraduate and graduate programs.
2011 Festival Screenings & Accolades
Frameline35, San Francisco
Indie Fest, La Jolla, California, Award of Merit
Open Show, San Francisco
Lights Film Festival, Providence, Rhode Island, Judge’s Selection
HollyShorts, Los Angeles, Official Selection
Pittsburg Gay Film Fest, Pittsburg
Eau Queer Film Festival, Madison
DocuFest Atlanta, Atlanta
"Blink" Captures Photographer's Battle with Cancer
The short film depicts photographer Russ Osterweil's lifelong obsession with his photography and how his art has given his life a sense of purpose—and a bond with humanity—particularly in dealing with his recent near-death struggle with Kaposi's sarcoma. (KS is a cancer that causes patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin, in the lining of the mouth, nose, and throat, or in other organs that was a defining characteristic of an AIDS infection.)
In addition to the "Stranger Than Fiction" course, Klein participated in the Film Program's "Film Language" course. He's also registered for "Directing" in the fall.
And Joshi's BikeWriter, a short video about fellow MFA Program in Writing's Luisa Leija, was featured as part of CCA's R.A.W. Video contest.
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About CCA's Programs
The Film Program at CCA is designed to explore the creative possibilities that exist in expanded narrative frameworks, from linear to nonlinear forms, with the goal of guiding young artists and filmmakers to break new ground in storytelling. A solid foundation in narrative film is provided along with a vibrant exploration of new forms in narrative and beyond. Learn more, including how to apply »
The Photography Program takes a broad-based approach, engaging students in the most contemporary practices, as well as in the traditions and historical structures from which those practices have evolved. Learn more, including how to apply »
MFA Program in Writing
The MFA Program in Writing at California College of the Arts is a two-year course of study. Our program offers workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, cross-genre writing, playwriting, and screenwriting. Rather than require you to declare a specific genre, we instead leave open the option to take workshops in various genres. Learn more, including how to apply »
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